Minaho Masaki frowned as she examined the file in front of her.

"And this is accurate?" she asked.

"To the word," the voice on the line replied. "My observations so far suggest that Subject Athens is maintaining a certain amount of decorum in the information he has at his disposal, if only because he doesn't consider it relevant. But it is clear he possesses the knowledge and the will to use it if it can guarantee his own safety"

"His understanding here makes a total mockery of Jurain State Secrets," Minaho replied. "If this is to be believed, even your status is compromised."

"He's shown to be more concerned with immediate survival," the voice continued. "I have no doubts he's got at least cursory awareness of why I'm there. But he's shown no outward signs of malicious intent, or even of using the situation for personal gain. If anything, he's veering towards treating us as allies. I think it's best to let him continue drifting that way."

"I agree..." Minaho perused the file on the screen once more, stopping to highlight a section. "However, I'm still concerned about his other points of contact. Until now, the Open Book Scenario was considered all but impossible. To learn it's not only possible, but very much true and proliferate leaves me in a very difficult position with your mother. He's been quiet about state secrets so far, but he's also not being actively silent as far as we know."

"It might be better to leave it that way," Minaho's contact pointed out. "Without active prompting, nobody else involved in the Open Book Scenario will even realize he has secrets to tell. Until we can secure him and read him into fold on the importance of what he knows, not bringing it to his attention should be adequate in keeping it quiet."

Minaho pondered that advice for several seconds, scrolling through a little more information as she did so.

"Given how much he knows, it wouldn't surprise me if he does realize he carries state secrets," she mused aloud. "Do you think we can trust him to maintain adequate silence until we can take action?"

"It's not like we have much of a choice," the voice replied. "It is currently impossible to detain him in any meaningful way without bringing undue harm to him. The contingencies for this kind of scenario rely at least minimally on the ability to isolate and contain the subject. We can't even sedate him or we lose him instantly."

Minaho grimaced, rereading the section explaining the subject's rather unique travel method.

"And what of Mother Crab?" she spoke up after a moment. "Any breakthroughs?"

"Still studying the data," the contact continued. "She says this is a first for her, and has been working on it eagerly ever since. I'm not sure what's more concerning though... Her excessive doting on Subject Athens, or the fact that we have a situation twelve involved as well."

"If we have an open book AND a situation twelve," Minaho rubbed her head in frustration. "Then we might be better of stepping back and letting it take its course. I don't want to be the one picking up the pieces, but I'll take that over destabilizing the situation."

"It might already be out of our hands," came an equally exasperated sigh. "Mother Crab has already exposed The Great Oni to the information in one of their gossip sessions."

Minaho was glad she wasn't eating anything, it would have ended up across the room.

"She'll traumatize him!" she shouted, then paused. "And he probably already knows she will. That can only make things worse."

"She won't meddle too much so long as Mother Crab is interested," the contact reminded the dark-haired woman. "So as long as the fallout of the Open Book Scenario is still in motion, he's at least safe from any overt action."

"But we BOTH know she likes her long game!" Minaho moaned. "Ugh... The Cleanup from the Chobimaru incident alone... I remember when the idea popped into her head. That was two years in the making,. If I know how she runs things, she's already picking through a card catalogue."

"You're behind," the voice seemed slightly mirthful. "She already sent me the color choices with a request for my opinion. I honestly expected something more subtle, but it seems that since Subject Athens is out of contact, she's opting to just be casual about the whole thing."

"Ugh..." Minaho's head all but thumped on her console. "This couldn't possibly get any worse, could it?"

There was silence on the line for several seconds, and then a very clear laugh from the contact. Minaho's dejected face rose to view the blacked out image on the screen in front of her.

"What's so funny?" she asked.

"We're discussing Open Book Scenario," the contact laughed. "And you just provoked fate."

"Fate can go bite me," Minaho grumbled. "What's your point?"

There was more silence before the contact spoke up.

"You skimmed, didn't you?"

Minaho frowned.

"I have enough to deal with as the cleaner for The Great Oni's entertainment options. I glossed over the minutes of some of the report."

"At least it's not a Kuramitsu report," the voice poked.

"Shut up," Minaho scowled. "I've seen dictionaries with fewer words. Now why is Open Book Scenario suddenly so funny?"

"Subject Athens accurately predicted a sequence of events involving Bubbles to within the second," the voice stated without humor. Minaho paused, glancing at the report, then scrolling to the section and reading. After a few seconds, she about stood up in shock.

"This is impossible!" she snapped. "Mother Crab can't even do this!"

"Mother Crab verified it," the voice replied. "And the logic he used to make the prediction makes sense once you hold Open Book as true."

"But this makes a mockery of free will!" Minaho complained. "It implies that your own thoughts can dramatically alter causality-"

"Situation twelve," the voice interrupted. Minaho's mouth snapped shut.

"To get to the point," her contact continued. "You just tempted fate, and as Subject Athens has proven, fate responds. How can it get 'worse', you ask? Check The Great Oni's schedule for the next month."

Minaho popped an additional window open, mouth draw and jaw clenched as she reviewed a series of schedule alterations. It didn't take long to recognize what was going on. In defeat, the dark-haired woman wilted in place.

"Vacation..." she mouthed in despair. "She's taking a Vacation to..."

"Earth," the contact finished. "The Great Oni wants to meet Subject Athens herself."

"Kami help him..." Minaho muttered.

"It'll be a show, that's for sure" the screen returned. "Given how in-depth his knowledge is, we may see her stymied for once. That alone is worth the price of admission."

"That's what I'm afraid of..." Minaho whined.